Wisconsin COVID-19: President Trump rally in Janesville, day after state reported record high 3,861 new coronavirus cases, 21 additional deaths

Wisconsin sees record-high numbers this week

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Saturday, October 17, 2020
Wisconsin COVID-19: WI judge blocks governor's capacity order as state reports 3,107 new coronavirus cases, 28 additional deaths
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wisconsin has reached 158,578.

LAKE GENEVA, Wis. (WLS) -- Wisconsin reported 3,861 new coronavirus cases, with 21 additional deaths Friday, breaking Tuesday's new daily case record of 3,279.

President Trump is scheduled to deliver remarks outside the Janesville Airport Saturday night. It's located in Rock County, which has seen a very high case activity.

People planning on attending the rally will have to park over two miles away and take a shuttle bus to the event.

Every attendee will have their temperature checked, be provided a mask and have access to hand sanitizer, according to the press secretary Courtney Parella.

The Wisconsin Department of Health's web-based system is being updated this weekend. That means new numbers will not be updated until Monday.

Just under 15,000 people we tested as of Friday with a one-day positivity rate of nearly 20.8%.

The state has seen a total of 166,186 positive cases with 1,574 deaths in the state from COVID-19.

Over 34,345 of the cases remain active, or about 20% of total cases.

The seven-day average percent positive by person rate of 20.8%. The 7-day percent positive by test, total tests by day was 10.6% Thursday. And 57 of 72 counties are considered at very high levels.

Hospitalizations were at a daily high of 1,017 on Wednesday, the same day the state opened a field hospital outside of Milwaukee to handle overflow patients. As of Thursday, the hospital had yet to admit anyone.

A Wisconsin judge has temporarily blocked an order from Gov. Tony Evers' administration limiting the number of people who can gather in bars, restaurants and other indoor places.

Sawyer County Circuit Judge John Yackel on Wednesday blocked the order and set a court date for Monday. The Democratic governor's order, issued last week, limited the number of customers in many indoor establishments to 25% of capacity.

The governor's spokeswoman says the ruling will be challenged. The Tavern League of Wisconsin had sued Tuesday and argues that the order amounted to "defacto closure."

It's the off-season in Lake Geneva, and COVID-19 numbers are high. Evers has urged people to stay home, but tourists are still in town.

Most are wearing masks.

"I follow the rules, and I'm careful. So I'm not concerned," tourist Susie Puntil-Wilcek said.

Gary Petzinger, the owner of the popcorn and confections shop downtown, said, despite the pandemic, business has been good.

"I get a lot of people from Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota that come in here," Petzinger said.

Wisconsin has earned the distinction of being a COVID-19 hotspot for the entire country, with numbers this week at an all-time high.

The state has set up a makeshift hospital near Milwaukee to handle extra patients.

"We are in crisis in the state, and mass gatherings are not a helpful way to stop the spread of the virus. And so order or no order, I strongly urge people in this state to avoid any type of mass gathering," said Julie Willems Van Dijk, deputy director of Wisconsin Health Services.

Despite the court ruling, former long-time Lake Geneva Mayor Speedo Condos keeps capacity at his restaurant at 50%.

Everyone wears masks and follows other COVID-19 protocols.

"I object to the rules. I think the public should be responsible for themselves," said Condos, who owns Harborside restaurant downtown.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.